How to Have Sex Review

How to Have Sex review

Welcome to our review of “How to Have Sex,” the feature-length debut film directed by Molly Manning Walker. In this thought-provoking movie, Walker takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the lives of three teenage girls on a summer vacation in Crete.

We’ll delve into the film’s exploration of female coming of age, the complexities of friendship, and the pressures of sexual desire. Join us as we dissect the film’s visual style, captivating performances, and its ability to resonate with audiences.

A Blisteringly Real Survey of Female Coming of Age

In “How to Have Sex,” we follow the journey of Tara (Mia McKenna-Bruce), Em (Enva Lewis), and Skye (Lara Peake), three best friends embarking on a holiday in Crete. Their mission?

To experience the epitome of a wild youth, complete with parties, alcohol, and exploring their sexuality. Tara, in particular, is determined to lose her virginity, and the girls form a bond to ensure their vacation lives up to their expectations.

The Visual Style: Neon Nights and Stark Contrasts

One of the most striking elements of “How to Have Sex” is its visual style. Molly Manning Walker, with her background as a cinematographer, brings a unique flair to the film.

The vibrant, neon-soaked nights of the girls’ adventures stand in stark contrast to the harshness of daylight and the sand-colored facades of Crete. The film’s empathetic editing enhances this contrast, immersing the viewer in the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by the characters.

Exploring Female Friendships and Sexual Desire

While the film centers around the trio of girls, it is Tara who takes center stage. We witness her teetering on the edge of stepping out of her comfort zone, torn between the desire to explore her sexuality and the fear of the unknown.

It’s a relatable experience for many teenage girls, grappling with the pressure to conform to societal expectations. Tara’s journey epitomizes the struggle between wanting to be ready and the anxiety that comes with taking that leap.

Captivating Performances and Nuanced Characters

The performances in “How to Have Sex” are nothing short of phenomenal. Mia McKenna-Bruce shines as Tara, delivering a physical performance that speaks volumes. Her petite stature and doll-like features juxtapose with her friends’ taller, more chiseled forms, emphasizing her vulnerability and naivety.

McKenna-Bruce’s portrayal captures Tara’s emotional journey, from moments of quiet introspection to moments of fiery determination.

Lara Peake delivers an incredible performance as Skye, showcasing the complexities of girlhood insecurity. Despite her catty tendencies and self-centeredness, Walker’s script allows us to see Skye as a fully fleshed-out character, rather than a one-dimensional stereotype. Enva Lewis brings a grounded presence to the film as Em, the reliable and caring friend who provides a much-needed anchor amidst the chaos.

Navigating the Dichotomy of Sexual Coming of Age

At its core, “How to Have Sex” explores the conflicting desires and apprehensions of sexual coming of age. Tara experiences the intoxicating feeling of being desired, but also confronts the harsh reality of objectification.

Walker’s script dissects the dichotomy between wanting validation and the potential for that desire to be weaponized against you. The film handles these complexities with humanity and empathy, never resorting to judgment or punishment.

A Relatable Journey of Hunger and Sisterhood

All three girls in “How to Have Sex” are driven by a need for agency, validation, freedom, and fun. Though their paths may be uncertain, the film treats their desires with compassion and understanding.

Walker gives us a glimpse into the ups and downs of girlhood and the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood, making “How to Have Sex” a truly relatable and unforgettable experience.

Final Thoughts!

In Molly Manning Walker’s “How to Have Sex,” she fearlessly explores the raw and complex journey of female coming of age.

Through captivating performances, stunning visuals, and a nuanced script, the film delves into the pressures of sexual desire, the dynamics of friendship, and the struggle to navigate societal expectations. It’s a thought-provoking and relatable exploration of youth, vulnerability, and the enduring power of sisterhood.


1. Is “How to Have Sex” suitable for all audiences?

The film is rated NR (Not Rated), indicating that it may contain content that is not appropriate for all viewers. Parents and guardians are encouraged to exercise discretion when considering whether to allow younger audiences to watch the film.

2. Are there any trigger warnings for “How to Have Sex”?

As a coming-of-age film that tackles complex themes such as sexuality, consent, and peer pressure, there are scenes and discussions that some viewers may find triggering. It isimportant to be aware of the film’s content and approach it with sensitivity if you have personal triggers related to these topics.

3. Does “How to Have Sex” offer any positive messages or takeaways?

While the film delves into the challenges and pressures faced by the characters, it also offers a nuanced exploration of female friendships and the power of self-discovery. It highlights the importance of communication, consent, and supporting one another through the ups and downs of adolescence. Ultimately, “How to Have Sex” encourages viewers to embrace their own journeys and find empowerment in their unique experiences.